It’s hard to remember, because of the eight quarters that have followed in the same matchup, but one of the worst games of DK Metcalf’s rookie season came in Week 12 against the Eagles last season.
On a windy Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, Metcalf hauled in just three passes for 35 yards. It was the plays he didn’t make, however, that stung. With three drops, Metcalf left roughly 99 yards receiving and a touchdown out on the field that day.
Since then? Metcalf has simply toyed with the Eagles, much like memories of the 2019 NFL Draft will dance around Philadelphia’s collective mind for the next decade.
It was in that same draft that Eagles GM Howie Roseman made a hideous error (one that is shared by a number of other general managers), selecting Stanford’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside with the 57th overall selection. With the 64th pick, the Seahawks gleefully selected Metcalf.
In the year-and-a-half since that fateful draft, the two wideouts have seen their careers go in entirely different directions. Arcega-Whiteside has puttered out of the gate, while Metcalf has quickly ascended to the league’s elite at his position.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, the 57th pick in 2019, in 24 career games: 12 catches, 214 yards, 1 TD
DK Metcalf, the 64th pick in 2019, in 3 career games vs the Eagles: 20 catches, 372 yards, 1 TD
— Alistair Corp (@byalistaircorp) December 1, 2020
In Seattle’s return trip to Philadelphia later in Metcalf’s rookie season, in the wild card round, the receiver made up for his painful showing a couple of months earlier. His seven-catch, 160-yard, one-touchdown performance broke different league and franchise records for receiving, and he topped it off by waving goodbye to the Eagles crowd.
That performance was fresh in everyone’s minds on Monday Night Football, when Metcalf and the Seahawks circled back around to Philadelphia. And, sure enough, Metcalf made sure to pour fresh salt in the still-raw wounds of Eagles fans, carving up Philadelphia’s number-one cornerback Darius Slay to finish with a career-high 177 yards.
Turns out, it wasn’t just Eagles fans thinking about the Arcega-Whiteside selection all night long, either. After his career-best showing, Metcalf made it known that played a part in his performance, too.
Metcalf ended Week 12 having achieved that goal, with Philadelphia no doubt reminded of the chance they had and passed up on. Not to be overshadowed by Metcalf’s vendetta, Seattle’s second-year wideout also broke 1,000 yards in a season for the first time during the win over the Eagles and ended the night atop the league in receiving yards.
Not bad for the 64th pick.